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Google creates new parent company

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(Last Updated On: August 11, 2015)

Move to place businesses under new firm Alphabet to allow reporting of results of diversified operations separately.

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Google, the US technology company, is reorganising under a new moniker – Alphabet – in a move underscoring its founders’ ambitions to pursue ventures far beyond the company’s internet search core, from self-driving cars to cutting-edge medical research.

It will still use the Google name for its popular internet search engine, mapping service and related products.

However, Larry Page, Google’s CEO and co-founder, said on Monday the creation of the new holding company will provide more independence for divisions like Nest, which makes internet-connected home appliances, and Calico, which is researching ways to prolong human life.

Analysts said the move may also be an attempt to satisfy Wall Street’s demands for more fiscal accountability: As part of the reorganisation, Page said the company will begin reporting financial results by segments.

Google reported more than $14bn in profit on $66bn in sales last year, most of it from lucrative internet advertising, while other ventures have required large investments without showing immediate returns.

The company’s stock has surged in recent weeks after a new chief financial officer announced other moves to rein in corporate spending.

Rise of Sundar Pichai

The reorganisation cements the rise of Sundar Pichai, a longtime Google executive, who will become CEO for the core Google business.

Page will be CEO of the new holding company, with his co-founder Sergey Brin serving as president.

Google’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, will have the same title at Alphabet.

“Sundar has been saying the things I would have said (and sometimes better!) for quite some time now,” Page wrote in a blog post announcing the changes.

Pichai, 43, who was named overall chief of Google products last autumn, is viewed by many as a potential successor to Page.

Pichai was part of the team that launched the Chrome browser in 2008 and also worked on various search products, including Google Toolbar, Desktop Search, Gadgets and Google Gears, according to the company.

Before joining Google, Pichai worked as an engineer at manufacturer Applied Materials, followed by a stint in management consulting at McKinsey & Company.

Originally from Tamil Nadu province in southeast India, Pichai received a B Tech from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur.

He also has a Master of Science from Stanford University and a Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

More authority

With the reorganisation, Page indicated that he wants to give more authority to CEOs of the companies that will be part of the new entity known as Alphabet.

“Our company is operating well today, but we think we can make it cleaner and more accountable,” he wrote.

“We believe this allows us more management scale, so we can run things independently that aren’t very related.”

Businesses that will operate separately under the Alphabet umbrella include Calico, which Google established to conduct health research in 2013; Nest, which Google acquired in 2014; Fiber, which is building high-speed broadband networks in several cities; and the Google X, the research lab responsible for Google’s self-driving car venture and previously developed its controversial Internet headset, known as Glass.

Alphabet will also oversee Google Ventures and Google Capital, two corporate investment entities that focus on early- and growth-stage start-ups.

Google’s YouTube video division, however, will remain part of the core business under Pichai, although Page made a point of praising its chief, Susan Wojcicki, another longtime ad executive.

Written by: Aljazeera

Source: Agencies

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Khalilzad ‘would welcome’ talks with Iran to help end conflict

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(Last Updated On: September 24, 2020)

US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad said Thursday Washington had offered to meet with Iran in a bid to garner their assistance to end the war in Afghanistan. 

Speaking at a virtual discussion by the US Institute of Peace, Khalilzad said he would welcome talks with Afghanistan’s neighbor but said Tehran wanted to keep the US “entangled” in the conflict. 

“Iran would like to keep us entangled in a conflict without winning or losing but paying a high price in Afghanistan until there is an agreement between the US and Iran,” Khalilzad said.

“But we have offered to meet with Iranians on this issue, that they should join various forums where we are there and they are there, to discuss the future of Afghanistan,” he said.

However, Khalilzad warned that the US would target any Iran-backed groups that took “action against” America and that Washington is monitoring them closely. 

Khalilzad also said that there was “no viable path” to a military victory in Afghanistan.

But Khalilzad noted that plans to downsize the number of US troops in Afghanistan, before a complete withdrawal, was all conditional.

Iran has denounced the agreement negotiated by Khalilzad between the US and the Taliban, which envisions a US troops withdrawal by April next year. Iran has accused Washington of legitimizing the Taliban.

 

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Security chiefs discuss surging levels of violence in the country

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(Last Updated On: September 24, 2020)

Security leaders from the Ministries of Defense and Interior and Resolute Support Mission met on Wednesday in Kandahar to discuss the security situation across Afghanistan. 

Resolute Support Commander, General Scott Miller stated Thursday that the level of violence in the country at the moment was too high. 

“Taliban violence has to slow down – it has to stop. What it is driving is an increase in violence across the country,” he said. 

As he stated the world is watching Afghanistan at the moment – specifically due to current peace negotiations between the Afghan government team and the Taliban. 

“We have an opportunity for peace, which is what the people of Afghanistan are looking for,” Miller said. 

He stated that during the visit to Kandahar, the officials all agreed on the need for close cooperation between all security entities in the country. 

“..we stressed and talked about the need for work amongst the security pillars, cooperation amongst the security pillars. The police and the army are very important to the people of Afghanistan,” he said. 

“But it’s the cooperation between the different security forces that are making a difference here in Kandahar. It has to – it has to be better. And then just lastly, for the people of Afghanistan, as I watch the fighting on a daily and nightly basis, I ask the people of Afghanistan, and [Kandahar’s] governor you as well, is make sure that we say ‘thank you’ and remain very proud of the security forces who are sacrificing every single day.”

The visit comes amid rising concerns about increased violence across the country since the start of the Afghan peace negotiations with the Taliban in Doha. 

 

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Nominated US envoy to Pakistan says cooperation critical in peace efforts

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(Last Updated On: September 24, 2020)

Nominated US envoy to Islamabad William Todd told a Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday that cooperation between the two countries was essential for bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan.

“Peace in Afghanistan is in both our countries’ best interests, and effective US-Pakistani cooperation is essential to achieve that objective,” he said.

“Today, our countries recognize that we share a common interest in a durable peace in Afghanistan,” Todd told the Senate panel.

He also said Islamabad “played a critical role in creating the conditions that brought Afghan leaders and the Taliban to the historic start of Afghan Peace negotiations” but that Pakistan now has “an even more important role to play in supporting efforts toward a negotiated political settlement that ends 40 years of war.” 

“This is a moment of opportunity for Pakistan to continue to forge a new and better role in the region,” he said.

He said if his nomination was approved and he was appointed ambassador to Pakistan, one of his top priorities would be to encourage Pakistan to play this role.

“In terms of regional dynamics, although we have a strong relationship with India, that does not need to come at the expense of Pakistan,” he said. “I believe that under the right conditions, we can have a strong relationship with both countries.”

He also said he thought Washington’s close ties with Delhi and Islamabad could help reduce tensions in the region. 

“Our hope is that both countries will take the necessary steps to reduce tensions, and as President [Donald] Trump has offered, we are prepared to facilitate dialogue if both sides request it,” he said.

He also stated he would work with Pakistan to advance a “shared interest in eliminating terrorism from its territory and advancing security in the region.”

Todd, who was nominated by Trump earlier this year, told the Senate panel that Pakistan remained a difficult but essential US partner in South Asia, and Washington was seeking to reset its ties with Islamabad.

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